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FilliesJoinUp 07-02-2012 07:04 AM

Idea's for a school master gone wrong
Right at the yard I work at we brought this beautiful horse called Chester. He came on a recomendation from the riding instructor. He was a sweet horse when he arrived just lacking stable manners due to the fact that he had been left in the feild for the past 6 months. On his first lesson at the riding school the instructor who recomended him rode him (He had a week to settle in) then later that day he had a beginner on his back and was perfect. But then the next day he had an experienced ride and just as the rider put her foot in the stirrup he threw a bucking fit (the rider mannaged to get her foot out the stirrup) he was later diagnosed with a bad back (which has now been cured) however one of the full time staff has been working with him in the week he can be fine one minute but throw massive bucks the next. Obviously because of this he has to be sold. Now me and my friend are going to buy him and work with him. We had the idea to bring him back to work by long reining and lunging him in full tack and then slowly bringing a rider into the equation. However I believe people on here would be able to give me a better opinion so if you could please give me and my friend some ideas your help is appreciated to help this school master. Also the horse is only 6 so its a waste if he can't be helped.

Clayton Taffy 07-02-2012 07:08 AM

You could try teaching him to drive. Good luck to you and Chester!

FilliesJoinUp 07-02-2012 07:18 AM

thanks for your reply but we only have the resources to help him back to riding and he is amazing when he behaves.

Skyseternalangel 07-02-2012 07:25 AM

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Start him on the ground, no riding.. just ground work. No tack at first.. just focus on manners. Then once he's fine with that, add tack in but MAKE sure the saddle fits.

Get him checked for ulcers and all that stuff as well.

Once he's fine in health and on the ground, then start riding him on short rides and build up.

Be careful.

Clayton Taffy 07-02-2012 07:25 AM

I understand, but you can work on the ground work for driving and it will help with riding too. Then if the riding does not work out because of back pain, he might have a second career in driving and not circle the drain.

FilliesJoinUp 07-02-2012 07:28 AM

Thanks to both of u. I will talk to my friend and we will use your advice and go from there and his saddle does fit and everything has already been checked multiple times by the riding school as they do not like to give up on horses for no reason

gypsygirl 07-02-2012 04:10 PM

are you positive all the physical problems have been fixed ?

OwnedByAlli 07-02-2012 04:19 PM

He might be expecting pain when someone is onboard, so you need to regain his confidence that a rider wont cause him pain. You are perfectly correct in going back to lunging and long reining, I would start without any tack (except cavesson/headcollar) and go from there.

Remember, a the back-man isn't a one-stop-shop, he'll probably need the physio out periodically in the future. Get in contact with the person who has recently done his back, and talk about perhaps having future visits, say every half year or summet. Idk much about physio, so ask the professonal :lol:

rascalboy 07-03-2012 05:43 PM

Well, there's really no reason for a schoolmaster to be behaving that badly. So, that brings in the question of pain and/or saddlefit. Have you have x-rays taken on any part of the back? Depending on age, he could have arthritis in his back and the vertebrae could be attempting to fuse at one location or another. A rider could trigger pain. I'd personally toss him on MSM. It works on most horses and does an AWESOME job at reducing inflammation caused by arthritis or injury.
How is his muscle development in the back? Is his back smooth, or does it have obvious muscle development? Is his spine higher than the muscle? Does he have atrophy behind his withers? What about at his neck in front of the shoulder? There ought to be a triangular muscle bulge extending from the base of the neck at the shoulder. If he lacks muscle there, that's a sign he hasn't been moving correctly, which can be a sign of pain. Even my fat old pasture mare has kept some of her back/neck muscle simply because she moves properly.
If that all checks out, then look at saddlefit next. You ought to post pictures for us. A lot of people think that adding a bunch of sheepskin fixes back pain. It really doesn't... And even if there's clearance in the front, the saddle might hit the spin further down the back. Post parallel side views of the entire horse standing on level ground from both sides with the saddle in proper position (girthed or ungirthed) with NO saddlepad. (You don't look at english saddle fit while using a saddlepad). Then get an angle where we can see how the flaps fit to his shoulder blade but step back enough that we can see most of the horse to get a reference point. (Both sides). Post one photo of you standing directly behind him, level ground, camera the same height as the channel of the back pads. (When you're looking at it, let us know if you can see daylight shining from the other end).
And make sure we get a photo of the pommel showing wither clearance through the channel.
This will make sure we can rule out saddle fit.
Once we determine it's not pain or saddlefit, we can help you write a work schedule.

MudPaint 07-03-2012 08:32 PM

A 6 year old school master? These two things generally can't be together in one statement. He hasn't been around the block enough to be a school master... maybe just not green.

My bet is this horse was worked hard early on and is a bit sour and needs to go back to ground work and rebroke. Lounging and long lining are a def good place to start once he's vetted from head to foot to ensure something isn't causing major pain.

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